Bill Gates once said: “Give me a lazy person to do a hard job, because they will find the easiest way to do it.”
The words of my people! Why write a letter when you can send an email? Or go to the store when you can shop online? Unless you’re slow-roasting a turkey for Thanksgiving (as any good American should), why do anything that takes longer than it has to?
But clearly this doesn’t apply just to billionaire entrepreneurs or Amazon Prime junkies. The key point in all of this, is NEVER underestimate the power of a consumer’s burning desire to be lazy.
Today, that holds especially true in the field of health and biotech.
Twenty years ago, you had to be an Olympic athlete to access the kind of tracking equipment that plugs you up to a machine and measures your heartrate. Most consumers take this technology for granted today with items like Fitbit.
Remember the Soviet Ivan Drago prepping to fight Rocky in the movie Rocky IV? Rocky is out in Siberia training with logs in the snow, while Drago is running around on incline treadmills with electrodes strapped to his body. The difference is night and day.
Nobody went running or to the gym expecting to track their steps, heart rate, calories burned, and exact GPS distance. Why do consumers want this now?
Because they want something for nothing.
Harry talks a lot about how everyone wants to go to “financial heaven” by watching the stock market go up and never having to work again.
It’s kind of the same thing today with fitness! Most people want to carry on with their normal work, home, and recreational lives, while a tiny device measures how many steps they took to the bathroom or to get to their car. At the same time, this automatically generates health and lifestyle data they can leverage to their advantage.
I don’t know if that’s lazy or smart! A little of both, maybe?
But right now, there’s a brand new market for this so-called “lazy” lifestyle data that’s starting to change the way we live our lives. It’s as simple as punching an app on our smart phone or wearing a smart watch.
And already there are a number of practical applications for it. For example…
Some health insurance companies will actually give you a premium discount if you agree to provide them your daily step activity.
Physicians can now monitor your heart rate and other key vitals remotely. You don’t even have to go into their office for a check-up.
Or maybe you just want to tell yourself it’s OK to eat five plates of food at Golden Corral. After all, your smart watch said you already burned 1,500 calories that day.
But I haven’t even gotten to the king of couch-potato data. Measuring your steps is one thing. Nowadays, you can get a personal human genome test for a couple hundred bucks!
Companies such as 23andMe, Knome, and Sure Genomics are chomping at the bit for you to spit in a cup, and have them process it for insight into your genetic blueprint.
Seriously, all you have to do is spit, ship, sit, and watch the insight come flying in!
When fully processed, this gem of information for a single person is about 100 Gigabytes, which is roughly equivalent to the storage capacity of the highest tier iPhone.
Once processed, these companies offer services such as ancestry and genealogy linkages for as little as $199.
And for just $2,500, Sure Genomics will process over 70,000 biomarkers in your DNA, and automatically send you updates when hazardous gene mutations (like the ones that cause cancer) are found through ongoing research.
But wait, there’s more! They will also store your family medical history, personal health information, and ancestry to provide you a comprehensive genetic picture, on-demand.
If new medical research finds potentially harmful links associated with any of your genes, family health history, or ancestry, they will notify you and your physician of the possible issue.
Kind of like having your own proactive personal assistant scouring medical research for stuff that might kill you. And all you have to do is sit there? Talk about a life hack! They couldn’t make this easier.
As an investor, I’m waiting to see how these sorts of disruptive technologies will present opportunities in company stocks. But that’s for another time. It’s a holiday, and I’ve got four kids to chase.
Editor, Biotech Intel Trader
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